Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» August 11, 2006 «
Increased butter prices and steady prices for cheese mean California farmers will earn about a nickel more for every gallon of milk they sell starting September 1. The statewide average price farmers will receive is $1.10 a gallon. Even with the increase, the farm gate price will still be about 16 cents per gallon less than it was the first of the year. Milk production has declined since the July heat wave, but that has no direct impact on the formula the California Department of Food and Agriculture uses to establish milk prices.
California gala apple growers have started harvest, about two weeks later than average. Fresh picked apples are already available in some retail stores. The heat wave kept the apples from growing in size. Farmers with cooling sprinkler systems have a little larger fruit than those who did not, but quality of the entire crop is reported as excellent. Growers will start picking the granny smith variety in about two weeks.
Fresh fruit exports from California are lower than last year due to lighter production. The California Grape and Tree Fruit League says apricot exports were 50 percent less than last year, and once exports are that much less it is difficult to catch up. Domestic demand for fruit is strong. Fruit is moving to foreign markets where demand is also strong. With production less, lighter export volume has been anticipated.
Water primrose is a yellow-flowered plant from South America that threatens waterways in California and other states. Federal agricultural department researchers have several biological controls that may help control the invasive plant. If the tests prove predator weevils effective it will not only improve the health of waterways, but of people and animals also. The water primrose provides a haven for mosquitoes that could carry West Nile virus.Top